Now that the iPhone 5 is more than two years old, many users are off contract looking for a brand new smartphone. While the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are certainly top options, we’re also getting a lot of questions about the Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung’s rumored flagship. With upgraders in mind, we want to take an early look at the Samsung Galaxy S6 vs. iPhone 5. Here, we examine the latest Galaxy S6 rumors and offer an early look at how the device could compare to Apple’s former flagship.
In the fall of 2012, Apple released its iPhone 5, a 4-inch follow up to the iPhone 4s. The device arrived with a larger display, new aluminum design, 4G LTE data, new Lightning dock, and iOS 6. It was scooped up by millions of people around the world and it remains in the hands of many of those people more than two years after its release.
While some people remain loyal to the iPhone 5, others are looking to upgrade this year. We’ve spoken to several iPhone 5 users who are thinking about moving to iPhone 6 or a top Android smartphone in 2015. One of the devices they’re looking at is the rumored Samsung Galaxy S6, a device that’s been in the news lately and one that should be coming out in just a few short months.
This doesn’t come as too much of a surprise given that the Galaxy S series has been a top iPhone contender for years and given that Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors point to a huge upgrade and a departure from last year’s Galaxy S5.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 is shrouded in mystery and we cannot profess to have all of the details. What we do have though are a number of credible Galaxy S6 rumors and years and years of experience. While we can’t offer a full Samsung Galaxy S6 vs. iPhone 5 comparison just yet, we can help set the stage for those debating between the two devices. Here’s what you need to know right now.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Release Date
We continue to get a ton of questions about the Samsung Galaxy S6 though maybe the most prominent one pertains to the unannounced Galaxy S6 release date. Readers, friends and family who own the iPhone 5 want to know if the Samsung Galaxy S6 release date is worth waiting for and how far away it is. We can’t answer that first question for all of you, each situation is a little bit different, but what we can tell you is that we have some idea about when the Galaxy S6 release date might arrive.
If you’re at all familiar with the history of the Galaxy S series, you’d know that it has a habit of emerging within the first four months of the year. The Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4 both arrived in April while the Galaxy S3 release was spread out over May, June and July. Galaxy S6 release date rumors unsurprisingly point to a release in the same window. While these are rumors, there is reason to believe that they are accurate.
Samsung’s track record is one of the key reasons why we think we’ll see the Galaxy S6 emerge in the near future. The company usually sticks to a year cycle for its flagship smartphone releases and this fits the slipper exactly. It’s worth mentioning that Galaxy S4 users are coming off contract in April and Samsung will likely do everything it can to keep them in the fold.
Second, the Galaxy S6 launch mirrors Samsung’s previous Galaxy S launches. Last year, Samsung was rumored to have shown off the Galaxy S5 behind closed doors at CES to select partners. This year, the Galaxy S6 was rumored to be at CES 2015. Even the timing of the first Galaxy S6 rumors has matched up with what we saw from the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5.
Finally, the few precise Galaxy S6 release rumors we do have put the launch in a familiar window. A new report from Business Insider says that as of right now, Samsung is planning a Galaxy S6 launch at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. MWC 2015 kicks off on March 2nd which puts a possible Galaxy S6 launch date just a few weeks out.
If this is true, it means that the Galaxy S6 release will probably arrive in March, April or May. Samsung usually gets its devices out just a few weeks after their announcement date. In other words, if you’re looking to replace the iPhone 5, you probably have only a few weeks to wait until one of the top options of the year touches down. As an added bonus, HTC’s One M8 successor is expected in early March as well.
When the iPhone 5 arrived two years ago, it was sporting one of the slimmest and sleekest designs on the market. The design still is holding up nicely after its first two years though we’ve seen Apple tack on some intriguing additions to its newer line of iPhones. Features like Touch ID, better speakers, new colors, and more.
Samsung’s slowly been trying to match the iPhone’s premium design and it took its first big steps last year. Last year’s Samsung Galaxy Alpha arrived with a metal frame as did the flagship Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The company also released a Galaxy Note 4 with a curved display called the Galaxy Note Edge that utilizes a metal frame. One popular theory is that the company used these devices as a dry run for the Samsung Galaxy S6 and its design.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 design is still shrouded in mystery though we’re starting to see rumors start to paint the canvas. Rumors suggest that the company’s Samsung Galaxy S6 is dubbed Project Zero behind the scenes and that it will be built from the ground up. It’s still not clear what that might mean though many suspect that the new design will include premium build materials.
Business Insider believes that Samsung will introduce a Galaxy S6 design that features metal and one that features a curved display like the Galaxy Note Edge. Italian blog HDBlog.it claims that the new Samsung Galaxy S design will feature an aluminum chassis.
Korean publication DDaily claims that the company will use a glass-based design that includes metal edges similar to what the company used on the Galaxy Note 4 and Samsung Galaxy Alpha last year. The device’s back and bezels would be made out of glass which could make it appear like the iPhone 4s and iPhone 4.
The difference of opinion could be because Samsung is testing a few different Galaxy S6 designs behind the scenes. We almost always see conflicting design rumors emerge ahead of launch as Samsung keeps an iron grip on its flagship designs. Often times, we don’t know what a device looks like until it arrives on stage.
What’s important to note here is that Galaxy S6 rumors are all trending toward a premium design. Where there is a ton of smoke, there is typically a ton of fire, and it’s looking like Samsung might finally make a move toward a full, premium design.
Apple’s iPhone 5 comes with a small, 4-inch Retina Display. The device is much smaller than most current flagship smartphones including the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. The Retina Display is solid but Samsung’s new Quad HD panel is thought to be better. For instance DisplayMate, one of the leading voices in display technology, thinks that it is.
This is an important distinction because the Galaxy S6 is heavily rumored to have a Quad HD display on board. Supposed Galaxy S6 benchmarks point to a jump in resolution and credible rumors including a leaked User Agent Profile on Samsung’s website suggest that the next Galaxy S will make the jump up to Quad HD. It’s a natural evolution and one that could put the iPhone 5 at a disadvantage.
Samsung might be increasing the screen size of the Galaxy S to 5.5-inches. This doesn’t mean there will necessarily be a huge bump to the overall size of the phone though. LG’s 5.5-inch G3 is much smaller than the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 4 thanks to its thin bezels. It’s also comparable to the 5.1-inch Samsung Galaxy S5. If this is true, it will almost certainly be much larger than the iPhone 5, something that current owners need to think about.
We also mentioned a curved version of the Galaxy S6. Rumors continue to point in that direction and a new report suggests that it will come with two curved displays not one.
If Samsung does go this route, the curved Galaxy S6 Edge will almost certainly be more expensive than the non-curved model. And for many consumers, it will be unnecessary. We suggest checking out the Galaxy Note Edge so that you get some idea about what to expect from a device that would be much different than the flat iPhone 5.
The iPhone 5 is two years old so the tech inside is outdated. The Galaxy S6 is an Android smartphone from 2015 which means that it will almost certainly come with a ton of powerful bells and whistles, some of which could be intriguing to iPhone 5 owners looking for a change.
Galaxy S6 rumors currently point to the arrival of an Exynos chip or a Snapdragon 810 processor from Qualcomm. If true, the Galaxy S6 would feature a chip that comes optimized with better graphics support, enhancements for battery life, and a whole lot more. It’s not clear how it will stack up in real world scenarios with Apple’s A6 but given the age difference, you can make an educated guess.
Samsung Galaxy S6 camera rumors suggest that Samsung is still trying to decide between a 16MP camera and a 20MP camera. The two purported Galaxy S6 benchmarks that we’ve seen include both sensors so it appears that the company is weighing both. A recent leak suggests that Optical Image Stabilization, a feature found on the Galaxy Note 4, will be on board this year’s Galaxy S model. The iPhone 5’s 8MP camera is good but it’s now two year old and showing that age.
We’ve also heard that Samsung will shift to a 32GB base model for the Galaxy S6 instead of a 16GB base like the Galaxy S5. The iPhone 5 is available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB though it’s no longer sold through the Apple Store.
We still don’t know exactly what will be on board the Samsung Galaxy S6 though we imagine that it will be Android 5.0 Lollipop or another version, possibly Android 5.0.1 or Android 5.0.2 Lollipop.
One Galaxy S6 software rumor also suggests that the Samsung Galaxy S6 could come with a trimmed down version of TouchWiz that’s closer to the Android software found on the Nexus 6. That would be a significant change and one that would probably be welcomed by many Android enthusiasts including those that covet vanilla flavored Android.
The iPhone 5 clearly does not run Android. It runs iOS 8, Apple’s latest piece of software. Android and iOS do share some things in common but the look and feel of Android 5.0 and iOS 8 is vastly different. You’ll need to investigate both before coming to a decision. Software is very personal and that’s a decision buyers will have to make once the Galaxy S6 arrives. Check our our recent iPhone 5 iOS 8 review if you need more than that.
As for software support, the iPhone 5’s received two iOS updates. iPhones typically get three before getting kicked the curb. The Galaxy S6 should get at least two years of support. Something to think about as the iPhone 5 heads into the twilight years of its life.
iPhone 5 is available on a number of carriers including the big five and several regional and pre-paid carriers. The Galaxy S6 is rumored for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon but smaller carriers remain out of the picture for now.
The Galaxy S usually comes to smaller regional and pre-paid carriers so there’s a chance it will at least match the iPhone 5. That is uncertain at this point but we’d bet on it getting a widespread release in the United States
The iPhone 5 is no longer sold on the Apple Store though third-party retailers continue to sell it. In most cases, the iPhone 5 is extremely cheap, even in unlocked form. Given its age and the current climate, bet on the Galaxy S6 being more expensive. We haven’t heard any Galaxy S6 price rumors yet but if we do see two Galaxy S6 variants emerge this year, we could see Samsung utilize two different price points with one at the usual $199.99 spot.